Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Free Audio Stories For Kids

No time to read your children stories? Someone can do it for you: Storynory.
They have free audio stories for your kids to listen and enjoy. They publish a new story every week.

What kind of stories can you find?
  • Fairy tales from the Brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Anderson, Aesop, Perrault and 1001 nights. A few examples are Snow White, Rumpelstiltskin, Hansel and Gretel, Rapunzel, The Princess and the Pea, The Ugly Duckling, The Boy Who Cried Wolf, Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, Beauty and the Beast and many more.
  • Tales and legends from around the world. Listen to stories like The 12 Dancing Princesses, The Blind Man's Daughter, My Lord Bag of Rice, The Tale of the Shipwrecked Sailor and lots more.
  • There's also many original stories. Follow the stories of Bertie, who once was a prince but now is a frog that tells stories. Or you might enjoy the stories of Katie, an ordinary girl but with also a witch that can do magic spells.
  • Not forgetting Classic Tales by Oscar Wilde, Rudyard Kipling and Dickens.
  • Educational stories e.g. Greek Myths, Knights of the Round Table, Tongue Twisters, Bible Stories.
So many stories to choose from. You can download them and play them in the car or on an iPod.
Make story telling time a part of your daily activity.
Happy Story Days to you and your children.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Get your family involved this summer

(ARA) - When the final school bell rings for summer break this year, many children will plan to come home and spend their three-month vacation in front of the television. However, by providing alternative activities that are still fun and exciting for kids, this summer can be more simulating and beneficial for your children.

Here are some suggestions for exciting activities to get kids away from the television and video games this summer:

  • Plan a fun family day each week and let your children be involved in the planning process. Some ideas you might consider are: a trip to a local park; a day at the pool; heading to a roller or ice skating rink; biking along a local trail or even arranging a treasure hunt around your neighborhood. By setting aside just one day every week for a family fun day, you'll not only be encouraging physical activity, but also family connections.
  • Form a local baseball, soccer, swimming or tennis team. If you have a lot of children in your neighborhood of the same age, encourage them to become part of a sports team.   They don't have to be the best team, or the most talented athletes to have fun. It will take a little organization from you to get the team's practice and competition schedules planned, but the benefits of team playing and outdoor fun will far outweigh the work involved.
  • Encourage your children to become active in the community by getting involved in charity projects that you can work on together. A great cause for families to take part in is the Downy Touch of Comfort program, because it helps kids who are unable to go out and enjoy the summer. Through Downy fabric softener and Quilts for Kids Inc., you can create quilts for children who are hospitalized to give them a touch of comfort during their medical treatments. This program has already delivered 20,000 quilts to hospitalized children thanks to all the quilters who put their talent to good use.

    To help out and put a smile on the face of a child in the hospital visit www.facebook.com/Downy, where you can learn more about the program. You and your child can get started on making a quilt from scratch with helpful patterns and tips found at www.downy.com.
  • Organize a talent show. Give the neighborhood children an opportunity to showcase their talents - whether it's dancing, singing, playing a musical instrument or even acting. Host the show one evening for the community, and then take it on the road to your neighboring community centers or a nursing home where residents will appreciate the young entertainers.

Don't just encourage your children to get out and be creative with their activities this summer - make sure you join in the fun. It will be a great bonding experience and you'll create special memories to look back on many years down the road.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Keep Your Toddler Busy With Step2 WaterWheel Activity Play Table

Every kid loves to play with water. The Step2 WaterWheel Activity Play Table is one way to allow your children to have fun with water without getting too messy. They'll probably still get wet because they are children and that is just what they do :)

Your toddler will totally love this water toy. Many parents have found that it also appeals to babies as young as 8 months old and even older kids like 8-10 years old.

  • This water table is a good alternative to kiddie pools. It doesn't take as long to fill up and clean up. You can save on water too coz' you don't need as much water.
  • You will actually have some free time on your hands to just relax or do whatever you want because your children will be so busy entertaining themselves. 
  • It is lightweight enough for you to easily pick it up and pour the water out but sturdy so that children can't turn it over.
  • Can accomodate 2-3 children. So siblings can play together. You can also arrange for some play dates for your children (a good excuse to have some adult conversation with other moms).
  • Easy to keep clean and store. Some parents suggest getting a grill cover to keep out the leaves and dirt.
  • When it is dry, you can bring it indoors and your kids can still use it as a play table. 
  • There is a water wheel feature. They can pour water into the funnel to make it turn.
  • Have fun playing with boats and cups and whatever water toys you put in there for them.
  • They can enjoy playing outside.
They have been some complains about it. The water feature is not a permanent fixture. Your child might keep knocking it down.This usually happens with really young kids because they are still learning to control their motor skills. The boats tend to come apart and parents wish there was more than just 1 cup.

However, the feedback is that this is still a very good for value toy. Currently, it is on Amazon's top 10 bestseller's list. If you are wondering what you can do to keep your children from getting bored at home, this would be a fun activity that would occupy them for some time.

The perfect toy for water loving kids

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Special delivery: A comprehensive guide for parents-to-be

(ARA) - If you're an expectant first-time parent, or trying to conceive your first child, you'll likely rely on the support and experience of many people, including your partner, friends, your own parents and medical professionals. But don't be surprised if you still have questions - having a baby is a unique experience and few things can prepare you for all of the changes that pregnancy brings to your body, life and family.

"There are few events in anyone's life that rival the significance - and the joy - of childbirth," says Dr. Myra Wick, co-medical editor-in-chief of the "Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy." Produced by Mayo Clinic's pregnancy and fertility experts, the comprehensive guide provides information on all aspects of conception and pregnancy. "You want to do all you can to help ensure a health pregnancy and a wonderful beginning to your child's life."

Your doctor will be a valuable source of information, but don't be afraid to seek out answers on your own, especially for important decisions such as when to begin trying and how to get pregnant, what type of delivery is right for you, and whether to breast-feed. To get you started thinking about these decisions, here's what Wick and the book have to say on some important first pregnancy questions:

Getting pregnant

When is the right time to have a baby? Only you and your partner can answer that question. Some phases of your life, however, may be more conducive to pregnancy and new parenthood than others. The "Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy" helps you explore the various factors to consider, and also offers plenty of information on how to get pregnant, diet and exercise recommendations to help improve your chances of becoming pregnant, and all of the latest knowledge to help you have a healthy pregnancy.

The C-section question

Cesarean delivery (C-section), a surgical procedure used to deliver a baby through an incision in the mother's abdomen, saves the lives of many babies and mothers every year. Doctors may recommend a C-section for many health-related reasons. Sometimes the reasons will be an emergency, such as labor not progressing or the baby experiencing an abnormal heart rate. Other times, a doctor might recommend a planned C-section if you know you will face a serious health obstacle that may make a vaginal delivery dangerous.

Many medical professionals and pregnancy experts are concerned by the growing trend of healthy women choosing to have C-sections with their first babies. These planned C-sections are done to avoid labor or the possible complications of a vaginal birth, or so that the baby can be born at a more convenient time for the parents, doctor, or both. "These C-sections aren't performed for health reasons," Wick says. "Instead, they're done out of fear or wanting to avoid an inconvenience. And those are not good reasons to have a C-section."

When you're considering the decision of an elective C-section, it may also help to keep in mind that once you have one C-section, you may not be able to have a vaginal delivery with subsequent pregnancies. VBACs (vaginal birth after C-section) are possible in many cases, but are not without risks. "Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy" includes in-depth information to consider about elective C-sections and VBACs.

Breastfeeding basics

To breastfeed or not to breastfeed? It's a question many expectant and new mothers have. Experts agree that in terms of nutrition, breast milk is clearly best for baby, and offers health benefits to mom as well. But breastfeeding may not be possible for all mothers. Formula-feeding shouldn't make a mother feel guilty. If you're undecided about breastfeeding, ask yourself these questions:
  • What does your health care provider suggest?
  • Do you really understand both methods of feeding?
  • Will you be returning to work and how might that affect your feeding decision?
  • How does your partner feel about the decision?
  • How have other mothers you trust and respect made their decision?

A first pregnancy is an emotional and exciting time. Gathering ample information on important pregnancy decisions can help ensure your pregnancy is happy and healthy, with as little stress as possible. For more pregnancy information and insights, visit www.facebook.com/MayoClinicHealthyPregnancy.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Bicycle Park In Seremban

 If you happen to take a trip to Seremban with your family, take your kids to the bicycle park. It has got road signs, traffic lights and a round-a-bout. Kids can learn to obey traffic rules. You don't need to bring your own bicycles (although you can), they have bicycles for rent there. But whether you use your own bicycle or theirs, the rate is RM2 for 1/2 hour.

It is a lot of fun for the kids. Good way to get rid of that extra energy of theirs.

And for those little ones who can't ride a bike yet? There's always the horse. Hehehehe. Yeah, there's a playground outside and inside the park. Actually, I've seen some parents rent those little tricycles for toddlers. They attach a rope to the tricycle and pull their little kid around. If you're looking for some exercise, that could be a good idea.

The park is located near the lake gardens. Weekdays it is opened from 5pm-7pm. Weekends and holidays are 8am - 7pm.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Bring everyone together with a family game night

(ARA) - With family schedules full to the brim, it can often be challenging to find quality time to spend together. One way to create a night of fun without distractions is by planning a family game night. Parenting expert and Family Adventure Mom, Deb Geigis Berry, offers tips for sharing sweet moments of family fun during game night:

  • Schedule a date and time - The best time to play is after dinner. If it's a school or work night, agree that homework and assignments will be finished so you can focus on the fun.
  • Build excitement with lunchbox invitations - Turn game night into a special event by making an invitation for each family member. Simply fold a piece of paper into a card and write "Are you game?" on the cover along with the date and time of your game night inside. Place the note into lunchboxes for kids to discover.
  • Sweeten Family Game Night - You can substitute playing pieces in games like Hasbro's SORRY! with different Hershey's Kisses Chocolates. Players can choose from chocolates in silver, gold, orange, purple, striped or polka-dotted foils. The iconic candy also makes the perfect treat when the game is over at the end of the night.
  • Pick a game that's new to your family - It may be the next family favorite! Be sure to designate one person as "Game Captain." That person will review the rules prior to game play and present them to each of the players at the start of the night.
  • Create a comfortable atmosphere and eliminate distractions - Why not play in your pajamas? Feeling comfortable boosts the enjoyment factor. Also be sure to turn off cell phones, televisions and other distracting devices during the event.
  • Present a door prize - When players eat a Hershey's Kisses Chocolate, have them roll up the wrapper into a ball and place it in a small clear jar or vase. At the end of the evening, have everyone guess the number of foil balls in the jar. After the official count, award the winner (closest to the correct answer) with a prize.

"Family game night is a fun and interactive way to encourage your kids to turn off the television and spend quality time together as a family," says Berry. "Everyone loves Hershey's Kisses Chocolates and incorporating the iconic candies is a simple way to help make your family's time together even more special and memorable."

For more game night ideas, visit www.kissesfamilygamenight.com.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Pineapple Fried Rice

There are so many ways to cook fried rice. Yesterday, I did pineapple fried rice. Thought I'd share the simple recipe with you.

  • Chicken breast (marinate with salt, pepper and a little soy sauce)
  • French beans (sliced thin)
  • Carrot (cut into strips)
  • Garlic (sliced or chopped finely)
  • Pineapple (cubed)
  • Cooked rice
  • Kaffir lime leaves and basil leaves (4-5 leaves, not too much. You just want the aroma; You don't want it to be too overpowering. Cut into strips.)
  • Eggs (beaten)
  • With a little bit of cooking oil, stir fry the chicken breast. Put aside when chicken is cooked.
  • Add a little more cooking oil, then add the garlic. 
  • When garlic is just turning golden brown, add carrots and french beans.
  • Add in some oyster sauce.
  • When carrots and french beans are cooked, make a little hole in the center of your wok and pour in the eggs.
  • Scramble the eggs, then add the pineapple cubes.
  • Stir fry for a few minutes before adding the cooked rice.
  • Add in soy sauce, salt and dark soy sauce.
  • Just before turning off the fire, add in the kaffir lime leaves and basil leaves.
Just FYI, I cooked 4 cups of rice, 1 chicken breast, 3 eggs, 1 carrot and 1/2 a pineapple. 

Happy Cooking!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

How To Tell If Your Children's Teacher Is Good

Last Monday was Teacher's Day. The Saturday before that, my kids asked me to take them out to shop for presents to give their teachers. My daughter bought 3 presents while my son bought 1. They were not elaborate nor expensive presents, but they were symbols of their love and appreciation for their teacher. I didn't even have to wrap the presents; they did that themselves.

My kids have only been attending this school beginning of this year. In the previous school, my kids didn't even bother with Teacher's Day. They never bought their teachers any presents, not even a Thank You card. Come to think of it, I believe they use to say "No need to go to school today ok? Teacher's Day is very boring."

Seeing this change in my kids, I asked them, "Do you think the teachers in this school is better than the old school?" Unanimously they said "Yes!" 

So, how do you know if your children's teachers are good?
See what they do during Teacher's Day.

A good teacher is one that earns their respect, touches their heart and inspires their mind.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Breastfeeding Help For New Moms

"I'm expecting my first child and I plan to breastfeed. But what should I expect?"

Does this sound like you? There is no doubt that there are many benefits to breastfeeding. However, being a first time mother, you are naturally worried if you are able to do it. I'm not going to lie and guarantee you that there everything will be smooth going. Some people have no problems while others find it very challenging.

As for me, I successfully breastfed all 4 of my kids for 1-2 years. While expecting my first child, I read up all I could about how to do it and also potential challenges. I was very determined to do it and turned a deaf ear on people who told me otherwise. My biggest motivator was money. Yup, I am not ashamed to tell you that my husband and I were struggling financially then. I did not want to burden him with having to buy milk powder. Breastmilk was free and it was good. So I told myself that I would make it work, no matter what. I'm not telling you this to boast. I just want you to believe in yourself and know that you will make the best decision for you and your child.

The act of breastfeeding for the first time is something you can never really prepare for. Learning how to hold the baby and get them to suckle can only be learned through first hand experience. However, gaining breastfeeding knowledge before hand is important because it will raise your chances of being successful.

So, for all new moms out there, here are a few things to keep in mind:


1. Know where you can turn for help.
Not all doctors and nurses are breastfeeding experts. You will get expert advice from a lactation consultant. Find out if there is a La Leche League near you. Attend their meetings where you will get the support and help that you need. It also helps to seek out other breastfeeding mothers. There are many online groups that you can join. If you are having problems, you will definitely find mothers who have "been there, done that" who can offer valuable advice.

2. Many mothers, including myself, found it very handy to have a bottle of water next to you as you breastfeed. You will feel very thirsty.

3. You don't have to measure how much milk your baby is taking in.
Just feed on demand. Your baby knows how much it wants to drink. Some people have the idea of pumping out the milk to see how much baby is drinking. Unfortunately, that is not accurate. Baby is more efficient at sucking your milk than you are at squeezing it out. If you want to know whether baby is drinking enough, count how many wet and dirty diapers you have to change.

4. Be led by your baby, not the clock.
You may feel like you are feeding very often. This is natural as their stomachs are so tiny. It fills up quickly. They also get hungry quickly too. Generally you feed your baby every 2-3 hours. However, don't set your alarm clock. Don't force your baby to live by a rigid schedule. With my first baby, I was constantly looking at the clock. It was very tiring indeed. It seemed like just when I put her down, it was time to feed her again. I was more relaxed with my other babies. I let the baby tell me when to feed and didn't bother about the clock anymore.

5. Don't fall for the "you don't have enough milk" scam.
Yes, I call it a scam. One way to ensure you have enough milk for your baby is to let them suckle more. Your baby and your body have a perfect understanding. If your baby keeps on sucking, your body will keep on manufacturing milk. When my mom sees me breastfeeding my almost 2 year old, she will say "sure you still have milk?" I get that comment too from some of my friends who learn that I am still breastfeeding my toddler. Well, the answer is "Definately. For sure I still have milk". I will only stop producing milk when my baby stops sucking. Also, your body will eventually adjust to your baby's demand for milk. You know why I say you don't have to look at the clock to feed your baby? Because your body will automatically tell you when it is feeding time. If your baby is feeding every 2 hours, you will feel your milk "let down" after 2 hours. It is like your boobs are saying "Hey, it's time, where's the baby?"

6. Don't get anxious and worried when you don't see milk the first few days.
Your milk will "come in" when it's ready. Meanwhile, your baby is getting colustrum and all its wonderful benefits like carbohydrates, proteins and antibodies. This is also the time for you to make sure your baby keeps on suckling (even if you think there's nothing coming out). Like I mentioned before, your body will adjust. Your suckling baby will trigger all the milk production you dream of. In the end, you might be screaming "Oh, my breast is too full".

7. Before your milk comes in, don't give in to the believe that you need to "top-up" with formula.
Some well meaning people might tell you that you are starving your baby. The will try to convince you that you must feed your baby formula milk because clearly, you don't have any milk yet. Please know that baby will NOT starve in the beginning. Their bodies are designed to survive those few days on colustrum before you milk comes in. Remember how to tell if baby is getting enough? Yup, count those wet diapers.

8. The most essential part of breastfeeding is getting baby to latch on properly.
Improper latch on will lead to sore nipples and baby not getting enough milk. You have to suffer the pain and baby gets frustrated. Definitely a problem you want to avoid. Here's a good video to teach you how to do it. Get ready for images of bare breasts :)

There are many more things you should know about breastfeeding. Read as much as you can so you know what is truth and what is not. I wish you all the best in your breastfeeding journey. Remember, trust yourself and enjoy the bonding.

If you are an experienced breastfeeding mother, leave a comment on what helped you.
If you are a new mom and have a concern about breastfeeding, leave a comment too.

Breastfeeding Accessories You'll Need:

Thursday, May 12, 2011

How To Put Together A Quick and Fun Treasure Hunt For Your Kids

My kids are always asking me to play more with them and so today, I decided to do this treasure hunt activity that I had read somewhere online. If you have a digital camera (which I'm sure you do), this is going to be a very easy, quick and fun way to create a treasure hunt.

  • Make sure the kids aren't looking. I asked my kids to wait in their room. AND made sure the door was closed :)
  • Go around the house (inside and out) and take pictures of things or places you want them to find. Take close up pictures so it's not so obvious. 
  • Put a token / reward at those places so they know they've "found the treasure". You know, like Easter the kids would find an Easter egg. I just drew some stars on pieces of paper and that was what they had to find. 
That's it. If you want, you can print out the pictures. I don't like to waste ink so I just downloaded the pictures unto my computer and showed it to them on the monitor. 

My kids enjoyed it. I gave my older girl a chance to take the lead by handing over the camera to her. Her clues were even tougher than mine coz' most of them were blurr :D

Well, I hope you try out this activity.. It is especially good for restless kids. Tell me how it goes.


Monday, May 09, 2011

Get ready for a season of outdoor family fun

(ARA) - It's only natural to be excited about warm, sunny weather. But it's not always easy to get the family outside. With work and school schedules, video games and the Web at your fingertips - not to mention the ever-present household chores - sometimes the hours slip away and the opportunity is lost.

To prevent spring and summer weather from getting away from you, a little advance planning goes a long way. Spontaneity, backed up by preparation, is the key, says lifestyle expert Colleen Burns, "The Mom on the Run." Burns is the mother of five boys ages 6 to 16 who regularly offers parenting advice on local and national TV, as well as her website themomontherun.tv.

As part of a partnership with Lance Sandwich Crackers this season, Burns offers tips for how families can spend more fun time together while enjoying the outdoors.

Turn on the "time finder"

Capturing the free moments you have is the most important thing you can do. And if you know how to look for them and plan to create some free time, you'll be able to fit more fun into the family schedule.
  • Add "kid time" to your calendar. Set aside an hour or two when the only focus is an activity with your child.

  • Tackle chores together. By involving the kids in the daily chores, they learn responsibility and the value of hard work. You get your lawn mowed, gutters cleaned and flowers planted. It's a win-win that frees up more quality time to do fun stuff.

  • Plan for small windows of time. Make a list of fun activities you can do with your children in an hour, a half-hour or even 20 minutes. It will help you take advantage of unexpected and priceless free time with your children.

  • Switch it up. It's okay to change your routine. Push back dinner or bed time occasionally to do something fun and be present in the moment with your children. Stay up late to look at the stars or have a family game night.
Plan to be spontaneous

One of the best ways to take advantage of even small windows of free time is to place a pre-packed "spontaneity bag" in your car or by the door. Add these items (and any others particularly relevant to your family) to the bag:
  • Sunscreen: Make sure it's waterproof with an SPF of 30 or higher and is broad spectrum (blocks both UVA and UVB).
  • Water bottles: Metal bottles take life's knocks well and cut down on waste.
  • Snacks: Think of treats like Lance Sandwich Crackers that are easy to pack, and keep kids satisfied without preservatives, trans fat or high-fructose corn syrup.
  • Adhesive bandages and pain reliever: For those unexpected bumps and bruises.
  • Small- to medium-sized towel: Perfect to sit on outdoors, wrap up if it's chilly or dry off if you're caught in the rain.
  • Balls: Depending on the age of your kids, have a variety of shapes and sizes to play with outdoors.
  • Bubbles: Have a contest to see who can keep their bubbles from popping the longest.
  • Sidewalk chalk: An easy game of hopscotch, Tic-Tac-Toe or Hangman is right at your fingertips.
  • Jump rope: Also a great way to stay active together.
  • Small kite: Lots of fun on a windy day.
  • Whistles/kazoos: The outdoors is the perfect place for noisemakers you usually avoid at home.
You could also pack themed spontaneity bags - such as a picnic-themed bag, a swimming bag or a campfire bag, tailored to your family's favorite activities. Regardless of what you choose to put in your spontaneity bag, you'll need to pack drinks and sensible snacks like Lance Sandwich Crackers. With a little creativity, you'll be perfectly prepped for family fun throughout the season.

To access more outdoor fun tips from Colleen Burns, visit www.MomsLoveLance.com.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Is your baby's developmental delay 'normal' or a symptom of autism?

(ARA) - More children will receive an autism diagnosis this year than will be diagnosed with AIDS, diabetes and cancer combined, according to the Autism Speaks organization. You've probably heard or read at least some of the often-emotional debate over the causes and cures of autism.

Yet one thing everyone agrees on is that the sooner a child's autism is diagnosed, the sooner that child can get the help he or she needs.

The nation's fastest-growing developmental disorder, autism affects an estimated one in every 110 children. With such a high incidence rate, many parents may agonize over any developmental delays, wondering if what they see is just the normal variances in children's development rates - or an indication of a more serious disorder.

Dr. Rebecca Landa, head of the Center for Autism and Related Disorders at Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore, recommends concerned parents act early, rather than waiting to see if developmental delays resolve themselves. Early intervention can have a big impact on the development of children with autism.

"Our research suggests that the 'wait and see' method, which is often recommended to concerned parents, could lead to missed opportunities for early intervention," Dr. Landa says. "By identifying these early signs of autism and acting early, we are providing toddlers with tools and skills to increase social opportunities throughout their lifetime and positioning them to have the best possible outcomes."

Researchers at the Institute have recently made major advances that now allow the signs of autism to be detected in children as young as age 1. Parents concerned about their child's developmental delays should look for these early warning signs:
  • Little or no attempt to attract attention - It's typical for infants and toddlers to seek the attention of those around them. Attention-seeking tactics can range from making silly facial expressions, moving their limbs and making babbling sounds in babies younger than 1, to talking and acting silly in children older than 12 months. Children who don't attempt to attract the attention of others in these ways could be at risk for autism.

  • Poor eye contact - By the time they're 2 months old, infants can make direct eye contact with an adult. Children who later develop autism often avoid making eye contact and are more interested in staring at objects or other facial features such as the mouth.

  • Poor or no response to own name - By 6 months, typical children will respond when an adult calls their name. Parents should be concerned if their child infrequently or inconsistently responds to his name.

  • Delayed speech/babbling - Delayed babbling and then delayed spoken language is one of the most recognizable signs that a child's development is delayed. Children should be babbling as young as 6 months.

  • Doesn't mimic facial expressions - As early as 2 months old, babies mimic the facial expressions of others, smiling when someone smiles at them. When a baby does not voluntarily reciprocate a parent's smile, it's a red flag for autism.

  • Engages in unusual play - Unusual play is another red flag. For example, a child might spin, flick or line up toys and objects in a purposeless, repetitive way. This can become more noticeable as children reach 2 or 3 years old.

  • Unusual body movements - Parents can often easily identify differences in how a child moves. Children with autism might repeatedly stiffen their arms or legs, flap their hands or arms, twist their wrists or move in other unusual ways.

  • Repetitive language - Children with autism may engage in repetitive language. These children may be able to recite the ABCs before they can make word combinations.

  • Does not express desire to share interests - At 9 to 12 months old, and in some cases earlier, children want to show or share their interests with others. They might point to something and wait for a parent to react, or hold up a toy to see and comment on it. A child with autism may not attempt to engage socially in this way.

  • Disinterested in imitating others - Babies and toddlers love to imitate the actions of others; it's how they learn to laugh, eat and play. An early warning sign of autism is often a child's disinterest in imitating others. A child might occasionally mimic others, but more often observes rather than imitates.
To learn more about early detection research, visit www.kennedykrieger.org.